Torture cover-up continues: FCO submits to the British court that the Obama administration wants evidence of war crimes committed against Binyam Mohamed to remain suppressed

March 25, 2009

Image of a prison cell window with bars

Yesterday afternoon, the FCO submitted additional documentation to the British judges sitting on the case of Binyam Mohamed stating that the US government continues to demand the suppression of evidence concerning the torture of Binyam Mohamed.

David Miliband’s legal advisor submitted a four page letter to the Court concerning on-going discussions with the Obama Administration concerning the evidence of torture of Binyam Mohamed by US personnel.

We are told that “the Justice Department will ensure the privilege is not invoked to hide from the American people information about their government’s action that they have a right to know.” Letter, at 4 para. 12.

However, apparently neither American nor British citizens have the right to know whether US personnel tortured Mr. Mohamed, and then conspired with British agents to cover this torture up: “the position of the new US Administration on the question of the public disclosure of US intelligence information … remains as previously represented….” Letter, at 4 para. 15. In other words, the torture evidence should remain secret.

“Once more, the Foreign Secretary has apparently done nothing more than politely question the Americans on their position,” said Reprieve Director Clive Stafford Smith. “When it comes to covering up evidence of torture, judges and politicians alike have urged the government to do much more – surely it is time to demand that criminal acts committed by US and British personnel be made public.”


For further information, please contact Clive Stafford Smith (07940 347125;; or Katherine O’Shea at Reprieve’s Press Office on 020 7427 1099.

Note for Editors:

Reprieve, a legal action charity, uses the law to enforce the human rights of prisoners, from death row to Guantánamo Bay. Reprieve investigates, litigates and educates, working on the frontline, to provide legal support to prisoners unable to pay for it themselves. Reprieve promotes the rule of law around the world, securing each person’s right to a fair trial and saving lives. Clive Stafford Smith is the founder of Reprieve and has spent 25 years working on behalf of people facing the death penalty in the USA.

Reprieve’s current casework involves representing 33 prisoners in the US prison at Guantanamo Bay, working on behalf of prisoners facing the death penalty, and conducting ongoing investigations into the rendition and the secret detention of ‘ghost prisoners’ in the so-called ‘war on terror.’

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